YMCA of Greenwich Takes Over 30 Local Children Back-to-School Shopping with Launch of New Program

Last week, the YMCA of Greenwich launched a new, back-to-school program, Running Start. Running Start serves children entering Kindergarten through 6th grade in the Greenwich Public Schools District who would benefit from a back-to-school shopping trip.

For many, as the school year approaches, family stress can build with thoughts of how to purchase school supplies, clothing and shoes. The YMCA of Greenwich program helps local families by taking children back-to-school shopping.

With the financial support of donors and through a grant by the John and Ethel Kashulon Foundation along with the help of many volunteers, the YMCA of Greenwich Running Start program was able to provide 34 children with clothing, shoes, school supplies, and backpacks. The YMCA aims to double the program’s impact in 2023 and take 75 local children back-to-school shopping.

“The kids were so different after the trip! They were smiling and so excited to try everything on and show us what they had picked out themselves. Their confidence was sky high not only because of the sense of independence this trip provided but the caring volunteers who befriended them. Thank you so much for providing this experience for the girls they will never forget!” – Participating parent.

To make this year’s program a success, the YMCA partnered with Greenwich Public Schools, Neighbor to Neighbor, Jewish Family Services, Barbara’s House (formerly Community Center, Inc. of Greenwich -CCI), Arcuri’s Pizza and Kohl’s.

“At the Y, we never want financial concerns to be the reason a child is not set up for academic success. Confident and prepared children today are tomorrow’s engaged community members,” said Matthew Skaarup, Chief Executive Officer, YMCA of Greenwich. “We believe every child should start the school year ready to excel.”

The YMCA of Greenwich Running Start program takes a unique approach to helping children prepare for back to school. Children are paired with community volunteers for a fun and special night of back-to-school shopping. Children, their family members, and volunteers shared pizza, donated by Arcuri’s, to begin the evening.

“Greenwich Public Schools are a proud first-year partner of the YMCA of Greenwich’s Running Start program. We are thrilled to collaboratively find new ways to support our students and families,” said Dr. Toni Jones, Superintendent, Greenwich Public Schools. GPS supplied the buses for the program.

“We appreciate the combined efforts of both organizations to serve our Greenwich community effectively and with impact, particularly now as families are prioritizing expenses,” stated Margaret Tjimos Goldberg, Executive Director, Neighbor to Neighbor who supplied the backpacks and school supplies.

“When we all come together to provide support within our scope of services – our clients’ lives are incrementally better,” said Rachel Kornfeld, Chief Executive Officer, Jewish Family Services of Greenwich.

Gaby Rattner, Executive Director, Barbara’s House (formerly Community Center, Inc. of Greenwich) said, “We are enormously grateful to the YMCA for their support and collaboration.”

The YMCA worked with Jewish Family Services and Barbara’s House (CCI) to help identify families who would benefit from the programs support.

The YMCA of Greenwich is one of the largest community-based organizations in Greenwich, CT. Founded in 1916, the YMCA of Greenwich is a charitable, nonprofit organization whose vision is to strengthen the community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Y is dedicated to working side-by-side with its neighbors, ensuring that everyone, regardless of age, income, or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.

To learn more about the YMCA of Greenwich visit: http://www.greenwichymca.org